When Father’s Day Is Complicated...
The sting of the hurt may burn fresh today.
You may scold yourself for not getting over it,
And letting it go.
Yet, even after you have forgiven, the pain keeps rising to the top.
So what do you do when what you hoped for in a father
doesn’t line up with what you got and lil’ holidays like Father’s Day pop up as an annual reminder?
Here’s my story...
While my dad was very much physically active in my life, his presence came with a lot of pain.
I never got the apology I rehearsed over and over again in my mind,
Or the questions answered,
Or my whys addressed.
I tried to bury them,
But realized, they were simply shoved down,
And very much alive.
I knew I needed to get closure without him.
So, I chose to rewrite the Story.
I realized the story I told myself about my father,
was only partially true.
There were a lot of bad things, painful things that wracked my brain and heart for decades, but I didn’t want to keep living in that garbage.
In spite of the mess,
I learned so much about me, and what I needed and desired as a woman.
Through that pain,
I crafted a beautiful profile of what I wanted for my kids in a father and what I would never allow to happen to them because of the impact my past had on me.
I committed to end the cycle.
No, I didn’t get the fairytale daddy story,
but I did get to rewrite a new story,
One that included the good I inherited from the bad:
Like my commitment to not minimizing unhealthy parental behaviors;
my desire to shine a light on physical abuse;
and even the positive characteristics I inherited from my dad, like my unwavering passion and willingness
to fight for what I believe.
It wasn’t easy.
And, it took me years to rewrite the happy ending to my daddy story.
I chose to stop replaying the part that affirmed what I didn’t get.
I stand united with so many who were silenced by the enslaving words, “what happens in this house stays in this house.”
We are here,
Fighting to rewrite the part of the story now within our control.
So where do we start? How do you begin to rewrite that which feels already written in stone?
You acknowledge your past while acknowledging the hope of the future.
Here are a few examples:
My dad wasn’t there, but even though he wasn’t, I am choosing a path of healing and accepting him not being there was because of his shortcomings, not mine.
My dad didn’t love me the way I desired, despite that, I realize I was loved by so many, who taught me how to become the woman I have become today.
My dad didn’t show up to activities that were important to me and because of how much that hurt me, I now make every effort to show up for my loved ones and demonstrate the love I wanted to receive.
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